Sunday 8 June 2008

What does catnip look like

To the question what does catnip look like? This is the answer:

cat in catnip
Cat with head in catnip - photo copyright ChageAUS reproduced under a creative commons license.

Here's another picture of the plant:

Catnip photo copyright Jim Somerville (creative commons license)

The effect!! :--

cat enjoying catnip
The effect of catnip on a cat. As the photographer ( copyright bonsaibutterfly) says not all cats enjoy the same effect. Photo reproduced under creative commons license.

Catnip is then a plant. A pretty ordinary looking plant in fact. It's "real" name is "Nepeta". This plant can be found in Europe, Asia and Africa. It is a common weed in North America. The plant produces small white, pink, blue or lilac flowers.

The plant can be broken down by steam distillation to produce an oil that is used in insect repellent (mosquitoes, cockroaches and termites, apparently).

As for cats, catnip contains a chemical called Nepetalactone (an organic compound) which is picked up in vapour form by the cat's nose. Basically it is a chemical that has an effect on the brain of about 75% of cats. It would seem that the susceptibility to being affected by catnip is inherited.

So, now I know the answer to the question, "What does catnip look like?". And what it does and how it does it. See more by clicking on this link.

What does catnip look like to cats on drugs

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